Sharks Lead the Way Into 2016
HONG KONG—After 8-rounds of play South China Sharks lead the CIHL standings with 14-points at the end of year break, the Macau Aces are second on 10 points, Kowloon Warriors are third with 8-points and Hong Kong Tycoons bring up the rear on just 3-points.
South China Sharks have been the outstanding team of the first half of the season winning all matches except one, generally by large margins. The only team to get the better of them is Macau Aces that edged their last confrontation on Dec 3 by one goal, winning 5-4. Stefan Northman getting a last minute winner to take the 3-points for Aces.
Kirk Golden, Jamie Stark and Jordan So have been the up-front star performers for Sharks with a total of 30 goals between them. Ex NAHL player Golden is the leading player of the league at the turn, with 30-points (14 goals and 16 assists), 6-poiunts ahead of Gregory Smyth of Kowloon Warriors (10, 14) and Sharks’ Stark (7, 17) who are both on 24-points.
Jeff Ceccacci, is the leading player for second placed Aces (10, 13), followed by Whitney Olsen (10, 8) and Stefan Northman (6, 10). While Smyth is getting good support in the Warriors from Eric McKenna on 23-points, and Devin Welsh who does an enormous amount of work in defence and attack.
Macau Aces put in a strong final run before the break notching up 5 successive wins and look like pushing the Sharks all of the way to the end of the season. But Kowloon Warriors usually leave their best until last coming strong towards the end of the season and in the playoffs.
Last year’s league winners, Hong Kong Tycoon, are currently struggling at the bottom of the standings having lost the skills and partnership of goal scoring duo of Brad Smith and Kory Falite that created havoc in the opposing defences during the 2014-15 season. However, the newcomer trio of Lucas Eshleman, Patrick Neundorfer and Patrick Henderson are paving the way for the Tycoons with Jim Flintstone also scoring goals. Maybe they will make a greater impression in the second half matches, but they now have a lot of catching up to do.
Cody Drumm of South China Sharks is heading the goalies table, followed by Anthony Devolz (Aces), Jimmy Bjennyr (Aces) and Horrance Cheung.
Lucas Eshleman (Tycoons) tops the 3-star awards, with 5-awards, with four players Jeff Ceccacci (Aces), Kirk Golden (Sharks), Stephan Northman (Aces), and Wayne Tsang (Sharks) close behind on 4.